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£18m already paid out by NHS to patients treated by convicted breast surgeon

The 59-year-old was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court.

The NHS has paid out nearly £18 million after settling the cases of more than 250 patients treated by a surgeon convicted of carrying out needless breast operations.

Top surgeon Ian Paterson, 59, described in court by one victim as being “like God”, lied to patients and exaggerated or invented the risk of cancer to convince them to go under the knife.

He was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 patients, but one solicitor has said the rogue surgeon could have “hundreds, if not thousands” of other victims.

A Freedom of Information request by the Press Association revealed the NHS has resolved 256 cases, paying out £9.5 million in compensation and £8.2 million in costs, while a further 25 cases are still to be heard.

One of the victims of Scottish-born Paterson looked like a “car crash victim” after undergoing an unnecessary mastectomy while another had a “significant deformity in her visible cleavage area” after a pair of needless operations on her left breast.

The surgeon had maintained all the operations were necessary but a jury of six men and five women agreed with the prosecution that Paterson carried out “extensive, life-changing operations for no medically justifiable reason”.

Paterson, wearing a black suit, blue shirt and red tie sat next to his daughter Emily, and scrunched his eyes and sobbed as the foreman of the jury returned one guilty verdict after another.

Judge Jeremy Baker granted Paterson bail until his sentencing next month, but added it was “likely to be a custodial one”.

Frances Perks, whose mother and sister died from breast cancer, was advised to undergo a series of operations, fearing she could develop “full-blown cancer”.

She said: “I think he’s a psychopath. Why would anyone in their right mind do operations to people knowing that they didn’t need them?

“My feelings towards him is I hate him with a passion.

“You wouldn’t be able to print what I truly think of him and what I would like to see happen to him.

“But I hope he goes down for a very long time and I hope he has a dreadful time in prison and hope he rots in hell.”

The motives for Paterson’s offending remain unclear, with Nottingham Crown Court hearing it may have been to enhance his status as a top surgeon or a desire to earn extra money.

Paterson was able to own a luxury home in Birmingham’s well-heeled Edgbaston area, had numerous properties in Cardiff and Manchester and also had a US holiday home, West Midlands Police said.

Speaking on the steps of the court, another former patient Debbie Douglas said: “Money was definitely a factor, to me it was a money-making machine.”

His seven-week trial heard harrowing evidence from 10 patients treated in the private sector between 1997 and 2011 at the Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands, with one victim telling jurors: “That person has ruined my life.”

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne said: “Paterson was a controlling bully, who played God with people’s lives so he could live a luxurious lifestyle.”

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